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Jackson County vaccine eligibility expands next week

Jackson County will expand its COVID-19 vaccination offerings March 29 to include residents aged 45 to 64 with underlying health conditions, as well as people displaced by the September wildfires, according to Jackson County Public Health.

Other groups who will be eligible March 29 include wildland firefighters, migrant and seasonal farm workers, workers in the seafood, agricultural and food processing industries, people living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living facilities, homeless people, and pregnant women 16 and older.

Frontline workers, multi-generational household members and residents aged 16 to 44 who have an underlying health condition will be eligible starting April 19.

On Monday, 570,304 Oregon residents were considered fully vaccinated against the illness, while 415,577 people had received the first of a two-dose regimen.

In Jackson County, 26,164 people were fully vaccinated, and 17,302 had received one dose.

In Josephine County, 7,998 people were fully vaccinated, and 9,778 others had received one dose.

Between March 7 to March 20, Jackson County Public Health recorded 373 new cases of COVID-19 — a case rate of 168.6 cases per 100,000 people — meaning the county's state designation for risk of COVID-19 spread should be able to stay at “high” for now, instead of reverting back to “extreme.” The county has been in a two-week caution period, allowing it a chance to get cases back down after the case rate rose to 214.2 cases per 100,000 people, based on data collected between Feb. 21 and March 6.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 178 new COVID-19 cases Monday and two more deaths, increasing the statewide caseload to 161,706 and the death toll to 2,365.

Jackson County reported six new cases Monday, and Josephine County reported 10, brining their respective case counts to 8,960 and 2,660.

There have been 120 COVID-19-related deaths in Jackson County, with 59 in Josephine County.

On Monday, 116 people in Oregon were hospitalized with COVID-19, four more than Sunday, with 18 patients in intensive care, four fewer than Monday.

Twenty people were hospitalized with the disease in Jackson and Josephine counties Monday, two more than Sunday, with five of those people in ICU, one more than Sunday.